There are plenty of these on The Wire, some are here divided by seasons.
- At D'Angelo's trial, when Jimmy tries to peek into Stringer's pad, Stringer responds in kind with a caricature of McNulty dressed as Superman (with a chest emblem in the shape of Africa) and a balloon that reads "Fuck you detective◊". McNulty's response indicates he finds this Actually Pretty Funny.
- It becomes more Hilarious in Hindsight when Avon mentions that String was heavily into the black power movement. It's implied here that Stringer was drawing himself as an African superhero but incorporated Jimmy's face midway when McNulty caught his attention.
- McNulty vs Rawls, round one:
- Rawls flipping two birds:
"You have my attention, Detective; my complete, undivided attention."
- Especially in hindsight, it's quite hilarious and gratifying learning that someone is sweating Rawls, instead of Rawls doing the berating, for once.
- The Bunk strikes back : "There you go, giving a fuck when it ain't your turn to give a fuck"
- "Deputy loves dots"
Jay: Fuck you and your dots.
- Another Hilarious in Hindsight moment has Lester Freamon being dismissed as a hump or a cuddly house cat in the first episodes. Little do they know he's natural police.
- "Boy Wonder, why don't you suck my Bat-dick!"
- After an annoying telephone in the improvised "office" keeps ringing, Santangelo picks it up just to wordesslesly hang it.
It was for McNulty.
- D'Angelo after Wallace gets paid with fake money.
"This look like money, motherfucker? Money be GREEN!"
- Landsman is exultant after his "D" long-shot turns out to be conected with D'Angelo
Jay: (with his pants down) Hey McNulty! Something here needs kissin'!
- In a nod to Homicide, Landsman tells the final part of a raunchy joke about a hunter raped by a bear. Jay is funny by default, but what really makes the scene is the silent but appalled reaction to the joke of the woman among his audience. She withdraws cleary thinking that Landsman is an asshole.
- Lester Freamon's dismay at none of the MCU members ever serving in the Military.
"A bunch of draft-dodgin' peace-freaks!"
- Kima and Carver on the roof:
Carv: Kima, if you don't my asking, when was it that you first figured that you liked women better than men?
Kima: I mind you asking.
- Sydnor's first attempt to go undercover as a dope fiend, and Bubbles tearing him down bit by bit.
Sydnor: Detective Sydnor is modelling the latest in West Side Project wear. Torn cammies by Versace, stained sweatshirt by Ralph Lauren...
Later, after Bubbles has had his say
McNulty: He hurt your feelings?
Sydnor: A little bit.
- McNulty gets a phone call in the middle of the night. It's a strange woman, calling to tell him that Bunk is at her house and has set off her fire alarm multiple times because, after they drunkenly slept together, he decided to burn his clothes so his wife wouldn't be able to see the "secondary evidence".
- Hell, just the image of Bunk sitting on the toilet asleep, with a pink bathrobe exposing his chest and a blue tie, with a cigar still in his mouth is awesome.
Bunk: First she gives me the pussy, then she takes my shoes? That shit ain't right.
- Later, we find that he's taken Bunk back to his place (still wearing the woman's robe) and asks him, incredulously, "What were you planning to wear home?". Somehow, the looks they give each other are hilarious.
- McNulty thanking Bunk for fucking him gently.
Bunk: I knew it was your first time. I wanted that shit to be special.
McNulty: It was, man. It fucking was.
- The entire scene where McNulty and Bunk re-create the Deirdre murder. Essentially five straight minutes of absolutely nothing but gratuitous use of the word "fuck" and variations thereof. *And it still makes sense!*
- Rawls sweeps the wrong desk. And then Landsman explains Jimmy's prospects to Cole.
Let me tell you something. If he gets caught with his dick up the ass of the deputy's wife... he's still gonna have more of a career than if they find out he's behind that story.
- Landsman thinking, "in a clear violation of the general orders" and interceding for Jimmy and his clearance before Rawls, because McNulty interferes with Jay's wordly pleasures
- At the start of "Old Cases", Herc is trying to move a desk through a doorway. Carver comes in and helps from the other side. Sydnor and McNulty come in and help from Herc's and Carver's side respectively, but they make no progress. Herc mutters "At this rate we're never gonna get it in." Cue a hilarious Oh Crap! look from McNulty and Carver. "In?!"
- And the whole time, Freamon is watching and clearly knows exactly what's going on, but wants to enjoy the show a bit longer.
- Daniels' reaction is likewise hilarious: "I'm embarrassed for you all."
- Lt. Daniels' muted reaction to Senator Clay Davis' denial of his involvement with the Barksdales.
Clay Davis: (Smiling) I'm not involved in drugs, Lieutenant.
- Earlier, Daniels and his wife attend a fundraiser. He goes to the kitchen and gets mistaken for a chauffeur. One of them (revealed to be Davis' driver) openly fantasizes about robbing the house. Then he introduces himself...
Day-Day: "Damien Price, but I usually go by Day-Day."
Daniels: "Cedric Daniels, but I usually go by Lieutenant."
- Towards the end of "The Hunt," D'Angelo and Wee-Bey pay a visit to Bey's house. Bey is really insistent in getting D'Angelo into the house, leading D'Angelo to think that he's about to get whacked. As Bey goes over to turn on the lights, D is standing in the darkness, sobbing, thinking that he's about to die... and then Bey turns on the lights, revealing several aquariums, full of fish. Cue Bey grinning and bragging about his fish, before telling D'Angelo how to feed them.
Wee-Bey: (pointing to his fish) These are my Tetras. Got Kimmy, Alex, Aubrey, and Jezebel in here somewhere. I don't know, she think she cute.
- Carver and Herc trying the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine on Bodie, who instantly sees through it (1:00 -3:16)
- After he provokes Carv into beating him Bodie shouts "You're supposed to be the good cop, dumb motherfucker!"
- Herc and Carver drive to juvenile detention to talk to Bodie and fantasize about how he's going to break down and they are going to crack the case...just to drive right past him as he's hitchhiking, having immediately escaped after waking up in there.
- Herc and Carver childishly listening to Poot having phone sex over the wiretap. Prez objects to it until, by pure chance and much to the duo's pride, the call becomes pertinent at the end.
- Omar calls Tyrell's bluff, and they throw a bag of drugs at him so he'll leave them alone.
- When two police officers stand next to Brandon's mutilated body on the car's hood, one of them remarks: "This is the worst case of suicide I've ever seen."
- The detectives have to wait for a lab unit because all the available ones are investigating the theft of patio furniture from the house of some city council hack.
- McNulty and Bunk visit D'Angelo about the murder of a witness who testified at D'Angelo's murder trial, there's this exchange.
D'Angelo: Y'all hassling me about that shit. I thought you heard what the jury had to say.
Bunk: Fuck the jury.
McNulty: Yeah fuck the jury, this is just us talking, right? It's just you, me, my partner and-what'd you say your name was?
Bodie: I ain't say shit.
- Bunk's story of shooting a mouse in his wife's closet.
- Polk and Mahone are tasked with putting a face to Barksdale, only to come up with the photo of a middle-aged white man.
- Landsman trolls a desperate Santangelo and sends him to consult a physic, Madame LaRue. The woman can't tell Italian from Irish, has questionable knowledge of the Saints and doesn't clean up her kid's toys. Luckily, Bunk and Jimmy solve another of Santangelo's cases for him.
- Proposition Joe on the role of mediator:
Joe: I'm doing like one of them marriage counselors. Charge by the hour to tell some fool he need to bring some flowers home. Then charge another hour telling the bitch she oughta suck some cock every little once in a while. You know, keep a marriage strong like that. (Omar walks up]) Speaking of cocksuckers...
- "Fighting the war on drugs... one brutality case at a time."
- Avon finally visited The Pit, but the cop surveiling the place didn't even know he was there because he had to take a leak.
- Avon criticizing Prop Joe at the charity basketball game.
Avon: Ayo what's up playboy? How come you wearin' that suit, B? For real its 85 fuckin' degrees out here and you try'na be like fuckin' Pat Riley
Joe : Look the part, be the part, motherfucker.
Avon: Nigger, please. You're carrying a fake fuckin' clipboard. You can't even read a fuckin' playbook. Be real!
- D'Angelo believing Wee-Bey's walking him into certain death when really he just wanted to show his aquariums.
- Burrell being a Smug Snake about dismantling the Barksdale Unit tells Daniels he can keep Prez and Freamon. He has no idea those two are some of the best the unit has.
- McNulty's abysmal seamanship.
Jimmy: It's a Baltimore knot [...] I dunno, but it's never the same thing twice.
Jimmy: Here, Bubs, tie this to that thing, will ya?
Bubbles: The cleat? [ties it off perfectly]
- Landsman has won the bet he made back in the first episode, Jimmy is riding the boat.
- Herc and Kima joking about how incompetent the hoppers in the white neighborhoods are and suggesting there should be Affirmative Action for White Gangbangers.
- "GODDAMNIT ZIGGY, YOU'RE NOT TAKING YOUR DICK OUT IN HERE AGAIN!"
- Burrell inquiring about the feud with Sobotka
Burrell: What's he to you?
Valchek: To me? He's an asshole! (both laugh)
- In what could be his defining moment, McNulty sticking his former commander with 14 open homicides, and his ensuing celebration.
"Stop, you're giving me an erection!"
- Lester and Bunk realize that Jimmy is there to smugly show off his deductive skills so they start explaining the case in third person for him before McNulty can say another word, as they already have figured most of it by themselves.
- Freamon and The Bunk's interviewing of foreign sailors who allegedly don't speak English.
Mishy Gishy Mushy Gushy Mishy Motherfucker... Negro, you cannot travel halfway around the world and not speak any motherfucking English...English Motherfucker!
- And then you can tell that Bunk's lost it when he starts talking to one of the foreign guys, and this "language" includes the phrase "yabba-dabba-doo."
- One of the sailors kissed Bunk's hand as he was talking.
- Landsman reads Crutchfield's report, but Bunk and Freamon have enough in their plates to be amused.
Jay: The victim was prostate on the floor. That's a victim alright, that hurts bad.
- A very darkly funny scene features Bodie purchasing flowers for D'Angelo's funeral. The flower dealer figures out fairly quickly that Bodie's a drug dealer, and assumes that he's searching for flowers for one of his friends. He leads him into the back, where we see a variety of flowers arrangements made to look like weapons and hood ornaments. Eventually, he gets an arrangement made to look like Tower 221, where he and the deceased worked the drug trade.
- One episode begins with McNulty driving drunk and singing along to a Pogues song. He crashes into a concrete pillar, gets out, examines the path if the crash, gets back in, backs the way he came from and recreates the crash, hurting himself in the process. McNulty then heads to an all night diner where, still drunk, he manages to pick up the waitress and the scene cuts to them having sex in her apartment. Funnier than it sounds.
- When the team are monitoring the illegal cargo coming off ships
Prez: They're bringing them off in tandem.
Freamon: Means one after the other, Jimmy
Jimmy: I know what it means!
- Jimmy comes back to Daniel's detail at the exact moment they are discussing who is going undercover to the brothel...
Kima: Takes a whore to catch a whore
McNulty: What the fuck did I do?
- McNulty 'sealing the deal' during a sting operation on a brothel.
- Landsman's description of Det. Freamon's "brash, tweedy impertinence." and Bunk's "lawyerly affectations". While he's offering fashion advice to Port Authority officer Beadie Russel, namely 'pantsuits in muted tones' to best counterpart the aforementioned appearance of Freamon and The Bunk.
- Judge Phelan sets Bird's sentencing.
Phelan: Mr. Hilton, are you the second coming of our savior?
Bird: Excuse me?
Judge Phelan: Are you Jesus Christ come back to Earth?
Judge Phelan: (Hammers gavel) See you at sentencing.
- Bunk and McNulty on the subject of Spiros Vandopolos:
Bunk: Boy, them Greeks and those twisted-ass names.
McNulty: Hey, lay off the Greeks, they invented civilization.
Bunk: Yeah, ass-fucking too.
- The detectives staring down the FBI members when they enter their office to set up shop, complete with Bunk opening his coat to show his sidearm.
Freamon: Aim for center mass. Make sure the man goes down.
Bunk: No problem. I got the three on the left.
Agent Fitz: * grins* Fuck you, assholes!
- Carver's reaction to the listening device which is getting charged to his his credit card is thrown into traffic.
Herc: I guess it couldn't stand up to the modern crime environment.
- Maui punks Ziggy, effortlessly.
Ziggy: (from the top of a container) You motherfuckers gave me bad advice!
- McNulty doing foreplay on a mannequin
- McNulty taking Omar shopping for trial clothes.
- Receives an Exact Words Brick Joke when Omar shows up to court wearing a tie... on top of his regular clothing, since he was only told that whatever he bought had to include a tie
- And a season later, becomes even more of a Brick Joke when Bunk gives Blind Butchie a tie — implied to be the exact same one — after Butchie turns in Officer Dozerman's gun for Omar.
- Bunk and McNulty on fashion:
McNulty: You know what they call a guy who pays that much attention to his clothes, don't you?
Bunk: A grown-up.
- Bodie and Shamrock lose the hip hop station while driving to Philly, look for a new one, and happen upon A Prairie Home Companion. The crowner comes later when we see Bodie is still listening to it.
- Prop Joe talking about his nephews; "I got motherfuckin' nephews and in-laws fucking my shit up all the time. And it ain't like I can pop a cap in their ass and not hear about it Thanksgiving time. For real, I'm living life with some burdensome niggas."
- Herc and Carver's whole adventure trying to investigate on their own after being stuck with all the crappy mundane tasks, where they end up destroying an expensive listening device. "His name is Head. Dick Head."
- And in the season's final episode, they end up Locked Out of the Loop about Nick turning himself in and spend the entire night watching his house. Their faces as they realize this are priceless.
- Ziggy walking into the local bar wearing blind man shades and a "seeing-eye-duck" wearing a diamond collar. He then says it's his attorney, he and the rest of the bar proceed to give the damn thing scotch, which only succeeds in killing it.
Ziggy: Now, I may not be able to see through all the bullshit, but my feathery friend here can.
- Ziggy gets pranked: "Love child, never meant to be"
- "GODDAMNIT, ZIGGY, YOU SICK FUCK! GET YOUR DICK OUT OF MY COMPUTER!"
- The Running Gag about Valchek's valuable district surveillance van:
- The Dockworker Union steals it right out from under his nose and ship it from port to port, sending him photographs from each destination.
- When Kima comes asking for it, Valchek has to invent a lie on the spot and say that another district has the van on loan. His uneasiness is priceless.
- And even better, even after Sobotka dies, Valchek gets another photograph of the van in a new locale, and even seems kind of impressed that Sobotka is still fucking with him from beyond the grave.
- The wordless montage of Cedric and Kima eating dinner while their respective spouses react angrily to them both taking up the new case.
- Stringer explaining the laws of the market to his challenged underlings. The confused and frustrated reaction faces make the scene, once again. And this happens with Shamrock and Country, who in theory are the "smartest" ones of what is left after Season 1 (which is not saying much).
Country: Yo, uh, String, why are you so down on the phone companies, man?
Stringer: While back, I took a stroll through the pit, I saw that kid we got running things down there, uh, Poot. Now, he got the cell phone I gave him for the business, right there on his hip. But, the nigga got another cell phone that only rang when the pussy called. Now, if this no-account nigga got two cell phones, how the fuck you gonna sell any more of them motherfuckers? That's market saturation.
- Stringer venting out his usual frustration by talking about the hardships of being a CEO, after Shamrock&Co messed it up.
Everybody else can be ducking and hiding (Stringer does some sudden moves), doing what they fucking wanna do...
No, that's a very simple thing, my nigga. You drive the guns to the water. You look around, you ain't see anybody, you throw the guns. In the water. Splash.
- Carver grows tired of Herc's undercover tics: "One more time with that toothpick, and I'm gonna stab him in the fucking eye with it."
- Daniels gets McNulty off the boat.
Daniels:I could use someone like him.
Rawls: And I could use three more inches of meat, it ain't gonna happen.
Daniels: You ever see how a dog gets when he smells a bone buried in the yard?
Rawls: Yeah, and I seen one take a shit on my carpet, too. And don't give me that he's-got-that-fire- in-the-belly garbage, either. [...] Jesus, Lieutenant. When I said "anything," I meant I'd let you have a kiss feel my tits or something, you know? But not this.
- Joe assures the Sobotka cousins that they would be "cadaverous motherfuckers" if they weren't connected to the Greeks.
- Much like Rawls, Valchek can be a very funny asshole, especially during his meltdonws.
Fucking rat fuckers, all of you.
Fuck you, this is the Baltimore Police Department, not the Roland Park Ladies' Tea.
- When the FBI seizes a huge shipment of Colombian crack cocaine in the docks of Baltimore, Rawls, Burrell and Valchek meet and can hardly conceal the envy of having an operation like that executed under their noses, while they have a detail that is investigating the waterfronts (or "fucking the dog", as Rawls puts it). It's clear that they are lamenting what a big hit like that would have meant to their careers, but Valchek jumps at the chance to snark about his feud.
Valchek: Now, that, gentlemen, is a case. God forbid you two should put something like that on my friend, Frank Sobotka. I would die happy.
- Burrell has a moment of levity
You hit a (high-end) brothel? Jesus. If you find anything that looks like a list of steady customers, flush it. I mean, half the names in the Maryland Manual are probably on it (Everybody is amused)
- Amid grief, Nicky remembers some of the good old times with Ziggy.
College kids ain't shit!
- Valchek walking Daniels into his new unit's office.
Daniels: What happened to the detectives who were first assigned here?
Valchek: They're dead (Daniels looked shocked). To me anyway. I shipped those humps back to Burrell soon as I could.
- Frank had to be an ordinary longshoreman to stay around the docks after his connection to the Greeks was exposed so he had to borrow an ID from Big Roy. Turned out there are two men named that. The one Frank wanted was Little Big Roy.
- The scene where Spiros guaranteed Nick that Ziggy will beat the murder radio with their help. They were watching kids play lacrosse.
Spiros: Why do they need sticks? Why can't they kick the ball with their feet?
- Bodie and Poot reminisce as the Franklin Terrace towers come down. Well. Poot tries to reminisce. Bodie just mocks him.
- When the towers come down, everybody is cheery at the ceremony until the area is flooded with dust, a thing that wasn't anticipated. The politicians make a mess of everything. There's another jab in the scene; the Mayor operates a fake detonator, just for show, while a technician is the one who does the actual job in the background with a real one.
- Colvin asks two rookie cops which direction is north. One points to the east, the other straight up
- Stringer attempts to run the drug gang according to Robert's Rules Of Order.
Stringer: Motherfucker, what is that?
Shamrock: Robert Rules say we gotta have minutes for a meeting, right? These the minutes.
- Then when the "civil business meeting" suddenly turns violent:
: Do the chair know we gonna look like some punk-ass bitches out there? (Stringer slaps aside his microphone and runs down to get in Poot's face) Stinger
: Motherfucker, I will punk your
ass for sayin' some... Shamrock
: Yo! String! Stringer
: What?! Shamrock
: Poot did
have the floor... Stringer
: Shut the fuck up, man! This nigga too ignorant to have the fuckin' floor!
- Stringer's lectures about economics usually start with some reaction shots of his disgruntled underlings. He is oblivious to the fact that he's casting pearls before swine, but surprisingly, some of them are able to retort, from time to time.
- In a subsequent meeting, Stringer checks Shamrock's notepad to make sure he ain't writing shit about no fucking criminal conspiracy and is pleased to discover that Shamrock is just drawing some pornography.
- Some of the petty things the cops do to convince the dealers to move into Hamsterdam, such as throwing their shoes down the drain.
Herc: Shit like this don't happen in Hamsterdam.
- Herc then tows a dealer's car. It's name is "Babycakes".
- "I don't think any of us wants to have to get a real job.", observes Parker; after Royce, Burrell, and Demper quarrel over whose fault the crime problem is. Everyone breaks into laughter after a brief beat.
- Carver posses Herc with the hypothetical of Herc having to have sex with a man for the reward of getting to sleep with the Olsen twins afterwards. Herc spends most the day trying to find a notch down from having sex with a man such as an old and ugly woman which finally culminates in him asking Carver "How bout a handjob?" out of the blue whilst interviewing Poot. Poot's reaction face is what makes it. Some scenes later, Dozerman drives by them, mimicking the act of giving head to mock Herc, who just flips the bird.
- Also funny is the fact that when the scene was filmed, the Olsen twins were around 18 years old. It makes the scene funnier knowing that Herc is such a creep.
- Tactical raid a stash house and with a half dozen all piling in in full armor and gear they get stuck in the small corridors leaving Kima to have to weasel her way through them with an annoyed look on her face.
- A drug addict's reaction upon being dropped off in the middle of Hamsterdam and being surrounded by dozens of eager dealers: "Da Fuck?"
- Bunk and McNulty interrogate Cheese about his dawg/dog.
- For that matter, almost anything Cheese says, ever.
- Bunk's Terrible Interviewees Montage with various prison inmates to find the whereabouts of Officer Dozerman's gun.
- Like a 40-degree day!
- "Did you just use the word habitat in a sentence?"
- Bubs and Johnny are planning a con that involves one of them pretending to be a mugger before the other chases him away and is given a reward by the mark.
Bubbles: I best be the bad guy, that way [white guy] ain't confused.
- "I can't wait to go to jail."
- Rawls blasting "Ride of the Valkyries" during the assault on Hamsterdam.
- On a similar note, Herc playing the Shaft theme in the season premiere.
Herc: He's a complicated man, and no one understands him but his woman.
Carver: Seek therapy.
- "Cocaine, nigga!"
- Bunny Colvin goes for a drive through his district, in-uniform, in an unmarked but obvious police car. Some dumbass kid by the name of Justin still tries to sell him drugs. He's so stunned initially that he just responds "What?". The kid asks again, so Colvin turns up his police radio. The kid asks again, so he puts on his uniform hat, at which point the kid finally figures it out and his friends start howling with laughter.
- Herc actually asks Justin, who's wearing his baseball cap sideways, where he gets hats like that.
- Freamon and McNulty having a vicious verbal fight about wasting time on other cases instead of focusing on Stringer - Freamon doesn't mind, Jimmy is furious. McNulty tells Lester how Stringer is probably laughing his ass off, since the police doesn't have a clue what happened to all the real estate he owned. They both storm out furiously after a What the Hell, Hero? speech from Freamon. Cue Lester coming back and telling Prez quietly to check that real estate.
- Lester deconstructing Jimmy with a premonitory "Get a life speech". Even McNulty finds some thing amusing.
Lester: How do you think it all ends? A parade? A gold watch? A shining Jimmy-McNulty-day moment, when you bring in a case sooooo sweet everybody gets together and says, "Aw, shit! He was right all along. Should've listened to the man." The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won't make you whole, it won't fill your ass up.
- McNulty picks up Theresa D'Agostino during a school presentation with his ex-wife. Halfway through, it turns out it's McNulty that got picked up. He only realizes it after they screw each other, where she tells him to leave. The look on his face is priceless.
- McNulty acts like a racist, believing it will make a small town cop more amenable to helping him. Except that cop has a black girlfriend. Luckily McNulty also brought Greggs along and lets her take over the negotiation, after which the other cop comments that McNulty is "Kind of an asshole." Kima's response: "For real?"
- Bubbles and Johnny are pushing a cart full of scrap metal down the street when they accidentally scratch a dealer's car. After being threatened, they promise to come back with money to repair it. Cut to Bubbles pushing the cart down the street with no pants on, since the dealer took them, and Bubbles mentions that they need to go to K-mart on the way back. And then the guy at the scrap metal place asks Bubbles if he's aware that he's not wearing pants.
- The street, always on top of current events, cashes in on the ongoing Iraq war: "WMD, WMD, we got them WMDs right here!"
- The dealers who don't migrate to Hamsterdam get rounded up, released in a forest in the middle of nowhere and given a few orientation cues. Santangelo enjoys every moment of it.
- After some Hamsterdam dealers get robbed, they complain to the police and want to file a report. The ironies of lawful crime.
Colicchio: Call it poetic injustice.
- A bunch of drug dealers use the facial reconstruction program to make a picture of a guy who robbed them, its going fine until Herc gets involved and they instead start acting like teenagers - making funny looking guys and trying to get the perfect face for a woman
- McNulty and Greggs go to a convenience store to track down the purchase of burners. When the man behind the register produces the receipts for the day of the sale, McNulty says "seek and you shall find." Another worker (who is very obviously a Sikh and appears to speak little English) overhears this, and the camera cuts to a shot of him wide-eyed and muttering something apprehensively.
- Brother Mouzone and Omar having a very genial standoff - each complimenting the other on their choice of weapon and Nerves of Steel
- "I can't wait to go to jail." and Squeak's continuous pestering of Bernard.
- Carver and Herc, along with their dates, run into Bodie and Poot, and their dates, at the movie theater. One of the finest examples of the Punch Clock Villain trope ever shown.
Poot: And you must be the lovely Mrs. Herc!
- While looking for Omar, Mouzone sends a reluctant Lamar to probe a gay bar.
Brother: You're the perfect bait Lamar. They will see you as conflicted, your homophobia is so visceral.
See, I haven't even stepped foot in that club and you already callin me a cocksucker
. (later, when Omar and Dante reunite) Lamar
Gay-ass gangsters? please...
- To general surprise (in-universe), Bodie shows his savviness by successfully alleging "contrapment" as a defense for his Hamsterdam business. Jimmy is amused by it and when they meet the next season he greets Bodie as "Mr. Entrapment"
- BNBG: "Big Negro, Big Gun."
- Omar's heist in a wheelchair. "Do tell."
- McNulty in a lesbian bar. After two rather unseemly butch ones make him twist his face in disgust, he finally scans a hot blonde. Cue Kima's reaction: "please, don't embarrass yourself."
- Jimmy arriving late at a briefing and then moving around Daniels to take a look at the stuff on a table. Daniels is quietly uncomfortable for some reason. A moment later, Kima complains that Jimmy stinks of sex.
- Bodie coming to Stringer to explain Hamsterdam. Stringer listening skeptically, thinking Bodie was wired, and only replying with a beatiful movement of ears and the line "Yeah, well, you shouldnít sell drugs."
- Jimmy conceding a point, for once.
McNulty: He's (Phelan) a piece of shit.
Daniels: We're all pieces of shit when we're in your way. That goes with the territory.
McNulty: Point taken.
- Rawls does insert a lot of funny bits while demolishing his underlings.
Rawls: Where's the fucking loyalty, I ask you? But in the Western, what do I get from a veteran commander? You're just having a laugh, aren't you, Bunny? You got the real stats and projections somewhere else. Someone's just outside the door with them, right? A stripper, maybe? That would be nice. She comes in, flashes a little tit gives us a whiff of that muff and delivers my fucking stat sheets with a reduction that matches just what we promised the Mayor. That would be beautiful. That would be creme fucking brulee. But what I got instead is some half-assed "I-wish-we-were-doing-better" platitude that's meant to fool maybe a six-year-old girl into thinking you're doing your job. well, she's left the room, Major Colvin. She's out there right now asking the stripper if she can have her job when she grows up because she sure as shit doesn't want yours. You know why? Because there isn't gonna be a goddamn Western District in 20 years if this shit keeps up.
- Slim chastising the mooks with style after the fiasco of Omar's grandma.
On a Sunday morning y'all try to hit a nigga when he takin' his wrinkled-ass grandmoms to pray? And you all don't hit the nigga, neither? All y'all kill is grandma's crown? Ain't enough that y'all violated the Sunday morning truce. No! I'm standin' here holdin' a torn-up church crown of a bona-fide colored lady. Do you know what a colored lady is? Not your mamas, for sure
. 'Cause if they was that y'all would have known better better than that bullshit. Y'all triflin' with Avon Barksdale's reputation here.
- Bunk ignores the red ball about Dozerman's gun to work on a murder case. One time, he tries to sneak past Landsman at Homicide, but gets busted. Another time, he's in the street interviewing a man about Omar and is busted again; Landsman shows up to nag Bunk and asks the good man if he's related to Dozerman's gun. The courteous but sarscastic tone of Landsman and the dumbfounded reaction of the puzzled man are priceless.
- Jimmy gets tired of staking out Stringer and walks directly into his copyshop, only to discover that Stringer is playing it legit and charmingly attempts to sell him a condo, to which Jimmy acts in a heartbroken manner.
You disappoint me String... I had such fuckin' hopes for us.
- Snoop buys a nail gun.
- Lester churning out subpoenas and trolling the establishment in the process.
Lester: There's an election? Who's running?
- Senator Davis gets served. Sydnor enjoys every moment of it because the upcoming elections make the MCU untouchable.
Davis: Major Crimes?! Sheeeeeeit.
- The local police thrilled by the seminar on anti-terrorism, with a montage that equals them to school kids.
Santangelo: No disrespect to your appendix, but if them terrorists do fuck up the Western, could anybody even tell?
- Carcetti proclaims he wouldn't vote for himself and has a fit on his way to Middle East Baltimore.
Tommy: Middle East? Well that's a good name for it, fucking Fallujah.
- Carcetti articulating what an honest fundraising call would sound like:
Carcetti: Hey there, Jim. Tom Carcetti here, remember me? We met at your sister's house, you know, the one that's married to that republican cunt. I know you don't remember me, I know you don't have any use for fucking politicians and, frankly, I don't give a flying fuck about what you think or what your concerns are. But I do care about what your cute little blonde wife thinks about so many things. But, Jim, the reason I'm calling is I want you write me out a check for four thousand dollars, the maximum allowed by law, and because we don't trust you to actually mail that check, we're gonna send over a couple of furloughed DPW workers to beat the check out of you.
- The Shit Platitude:
"Let me tell you a story, Tommy. The first day I became mayor, they sit me down at the desk: big chair, dark wood, lots of beautiful things. Iím thinking, how much better can it get? Thereís a knock at the door, in the corner of the room, and Pete comes walking in, carrying this gorgeous sieve, silver bowl, hand-chasedóit was this big. Itís from the unions, he says. So I think itís a present, something to commemorate my first day as mayor...he walks over, puts it on the desk; I look down at it...itís disgusting. I say, What the hell is this? he said, What the hellís it look like? I said, it looks like shitówhat do you want me to do with it? He says, eat it... Eat it? He says, Yeah, youíre the mayor. You gotta eat it. So okay, it was my first day; Pete knows more than I do...So i go at it. And just when i finish, thereís a knock on the door, and in walks Pete carrying another silver bowl. And this one from the blacks. This too? And he nods. I start eating, and when iím finished, thereís another knock and another bowl. This oneís from the Polacks. Then after that, one from the ministers... And you know what, Tommy? Thatís what it is. Youíre sitting eating shit all day long. Day after day, year after year. When I realized that, I decided being a downtown lawyer and seeing my family every night made for a fine life."
- Carcetti cannot fucking believe that Norman, his own campaign manager, is not voting for him but for one of them brothers.
- Valchek laughing his ass off when Herc relates his problem with Mayor Royce. Herc thinks he's gonna end on some boat like McNulty, while Valchek tells him he's hit the jackpot.
Valchek: Kid, careers have been launched on a hell of a lot less.
Carver: What the hell did you say to him?
- In the middle of nowhere, Rawls informs Carcetti and Norman that delegate Watkins is jumping the mayor's ship. After they part ways, the two politicians calmly wait until Rawls can't see their ecstatic reactions and then they run as if their lives depended on it.
Norman: Wait until he turns the corner... (As Rawls drives off, they rush for their car) District office for Watkins. Gilmor street. And fuck them red lights, man.
- Carcetti attends a meaningful sermon before the election:
Carcetti: you're holding me to a high standard. Moses? I mean, Jesus, reverend [...] I'm sorry. I can't believe I said that.
Reverend: Moses will do for now. We'll save Jesus for your second term.
- "Our Lady of the re-up"
- Omar Little being woken up one morning to the sounds of garbage men outside his window, realizing his boyfriend has eaten the last of his Honey Nut Cheerios, and going down the street in his blue satin pajamas and robe, unarmed, to buy more. He stops to light a cigarette on the way home and a group of drug dealers in a room upstairs drop him a bag of heroin to make him go away. He gets home, drops the heroin and Cheerios on the table, and his boyfriend... asks him why he bought regular Cheerios instead of Honey Nut.
- Freamon and Bunk disbelief and puns over McNulty's domesticated state.
Lester: World is on its hole when Jimmy McNulty is the most qualified to drive.
- Bunk missing his old wingman in a bar, while Freamon keeps talking about the case.
Bunk: You know what the plural of pussy is? Pussai. Jimmy told me that.
- Holley dodges a phone call and then laughs with Bunk when Norris answers it and gets a hard case. Cue Norris a few scenes later invoking Who's Laughing Now? when the victim turns out to be a state witness, meaning a high-profile case with plenty of paid overtime.
- Proposition Joe imitates a white man. "Yes, hello, this is Sidney Handjerker with Handjerker, Cohen and Bromberg..."
- Omar and his crew rip off the entire Baltimore drug supply. And then Omar sells his share of the drugs back to Proposition Joe for 20 cents on the dollar. Not to mention Cheese's assessment of what happened.
Cheese: Omar had one of them commando squads with him, man. I mean He had this one ho pullin' guns out her pussy, Unc! The shit was unseemly, man.
- Even funnier when Joe offers to sell Marlo back his share, and without comment claims Omar was charging 30 cents on the dollar.
- Lester goes back to the MCU and leaves homicide.
Bunk: Was it the Bunk's cologne? (sniffs) Ohh. Pussy. [...] The Bunk is strictly a suit-and-tie motherfucker. At all hazards a man must keep up appearances. Dignity I say, dignity above all, governor. Hear, hear!
- Randy "pissing" himself.
- When Bubbles goes to Edward Tilghman Middle School to enroll Sherrod, he coincidentally runs into Prez. Because he never got the word that Prez quit the force, he assumes that he's working undercover as a math teacher, and assures him that he'll keep his secret. The look that Prez gives him is priceless.
- When tasked with running the New York dealers out of Baltimore Chris and Snoop try and devise a way of figuring out the natives from the NY dealers. Chris proposes asking questions about Baltimore soul music, which Snoop knows nothing about kinda defeating the point of it.
- The first dealer they asks mention New York Sonja at which point Snoop tries to shoot him only to have Chris calm her down and inform her that Sonja was a musician and that maybe he should handle the questions from now on. All the while the thoroughly terrified dealer just stares at them.
- Valchek relating to candidate Carcetti that Kima, "a rookie, and a broad no less", has been assigned to a red ball case in the middle of the primaries.
Valcheck: (looking up, folded hands) St. Jude, patron of lost causes. Tell me you ain't been on bended knee whispering in his saintly ear each and every night before you close those peepers. I know you have, Tommy, catch a break like this.
- Herc on his missing camera:
Kima: Herc, what the fuck did you do exactly?
Herc: I lost a surveillance camera that I took without my Lieutenant's permission and the evidence that I had found, I it attributed to a made up informant.
Bunk: Son, they gonna beat on your White ass like it was a Rented Mule.
- Carcetti pays a visit to Homicide. The lads pretend they are reviewing files and doing serious stuff for a while, until Carcetti tells them to relax... so they go back to their slow day routine: Kima does nothing, Lester makes dollhouse furniture and Landsman gets immersed in his porno mags.
- Landsman's "No red on the board!" speech to Lester "Madam Curie" Freamon, tossing away one of the nails, which Lester promptly recovers.
- After Herc searches their car, Chris and Snoop need to dump their hidden weapons to cover their tracks. They toss their guns in the river, but as they're about to leave, Chris realizes their nailgun (the one Snoop bought in the opening scene of the season) is also evidence, and tosses that too. Snoop is appalled and exclaims that he owes her 800 dollars for that.
- Santangelo objecting when Jimmy provides Omar with a phone call during his arrest.
Sanny: You some kind of democrat or what?
- Omar pulls an amazing One-Liner when his crew ambush Proposition Joe at his repair store to hit him up for information. In true Omar puts a broken clock in front of Joe and asks if he can fix it, Joe asks what the problem with it is, followed by Omar pulling a gun on him and declaring:
Omar: Ran out of time!
- Kima calling for Mr. Lyon.
- Cheese praising the tight ship run by Marlo.
Cheese: Damn, y'all some semper fi motherfuckers, ain't ya? Where Cheese go to enlist?
- Jay arrives all cheerful and Christmassy at the office. The happiness is gone the moment he sees the board and learns it's full of red names thanks to Freamon.
Landsman: He is a vandal. He is vandalizing the board. He is vandalizing this unit. He is a hun, a Visigoth, a barbarian at the gate clamoring for noble roman blood and what's left of our clearance rate.
- After complaining to Norris that "everybody is on a crusade to make more murders out of bullshit", Landsman praises the detective, because Norris, unlike Lester, already has a suspect in custody for a hotshot case.
- A call back to season 2 when Dozerman asked Mcnulty about rumor he heard of him in a threesome during a whorehouse sting.
- "Liar!...Black liar!"
- "There's a B in subtle?"
- Bunk and Landsman using a printer as a lie detector to break a perp in the opening minutes of the season.
- McNulty takes the bus to a murder crime scene.
"Well now I've seen everything."
- A detective working late hours doesn't sit well with another cop trying to sleep on his desk.
Type quieter, asshole.
- While discussing secondary employment, Jimmy asks Bunk what he's qualified to do. Bunk just points at his crotch, and indicates with body language signals that it was the most obvious question ever.
- McNulty's "high regard" of his peers at homicide.
Jimmy: Who is gonna catch me? Most of the guys here couldn't catch the clap in a Mexican whorehouse!
- His views on the legal profession are not much better
Jimmy: Pro forma. From the Latin, meaning lawyers jacking each other off.
- Bunk brings Lester into the "Serial Killer" loop hoping Freamon will talk some sense into Jimmy, but after the initial hope spot when Lester says "Shit like this actually goes through your fucking brain?", Freamon ellaborates and ends up encouraging Jimmy and masterminding an even more sensationalized lie. Nice job breaking it, Bunko!.
- In charge of the serial killer case, a taxed McNulty gets a taste of his own medicine.
Jimmy: Gotta tell ya Lester, I dont want to hurt ur feelings but I can see why Daniels cringed every time you opened your mouth. You're a supervisor's nightmare!
- McNulty in the Baltimore Sun meeting after Templeton's "phone call" from the serial killer. Templeton's surprise when McNulty lies about a second phone call makes it clear to the detective that Templeton is fabricating evidence about the serial killer separately to all of McNulty's fabrications. The look of restrained incredulity that McNulty then gives Templeton is absolutely beautiful.
- After McNulty fabricates a serial killer in Baltimore to raise the police budget, the case snowballs all the way to the FBI for a psychological rundown. McNulty listens in silence as the agent reads the profile:
The suspect is likely a white male, in his late 20s to late 30s. He likely is not a college graduate, but feels nonetheless superior to those with advanced education, and he is likely employed in a bureaucratic entity, possibly civil service or quasi-public service, from which he feels alienated. He has a problem with authority and a deep-seated resentment of those who he feels have impeded his progress professionally (Ö) The suspect has trouble with lasting relationships and is possibly a high-functioning alcoholic (Ö)
- McNulty explains out loud the "case" of the vagrant in order to pique Barlow's attention, who worked a similar one in the past... Barlow reacts by farting in his chair. During a second try, Barlow is just talking with his wife over the phone, only concerned with a stain in his house. Third time's a charm.
McNulty: Hell of a catch detective, hell of a catch.
- Landsman wanking to Jimmy's weak (bull)shit.
- Landsman unhappiness about Jimmy's passivity: "From everything we've given you, fire should be shooting out your ass. But no, there you sit like a genital wart."
- McNulty picking up the daily newspaper from the rack before the previous customer closes the box.
- After Bunk chews McNulty out for his scheme, he realizes they locked themselves in the interrogation room. He grudgingly makes a phone call and Crutchfield comes to the rescue.
Crutchfield: (opens the door, sees the situation and sniffs around) He fucked you?
Bunk: He tried, but mostly he just fucks himself.
- When the journos discuss how weird it would be to talk to a psychopath, one of them snarks "I interviewed Dick Cheney once."
- Hungry Man's point of order: unlawful incursions in his territory.
Cheese: Incursions? Ain't you the articulate motherfucker?
- Rawls debriefs the troops on the serial killer.
Rawls: Bad news gentlemen, as we're actually gonna have to catch this motherfucker. Good news is that our Mayor finally needs a police department more than he needs a school system.
- In the final episode, Cheese moronically implicates himself in the murder of his uncle, Prop Joe, while delivering a rant about how it is now "his time" as head of the Co-Op, which is then quickly cut off by Slim Charles putting a bullet through his head. The ONLY reaction from the other gangsters there is tepid anger that Charles cost them the money Cheese was about to supply for a drug deal. Murder has never been so funny.
- "This sentimental motherfucker just cost us money".
- Vinson sets up another golden moment during the series finale when Michael becomes the new stick up boy after Omar's death:
Vinson: "But you just a kid"
( Michael fires his shotgun at Vinson's knee)
Michael: "And that's just a knee."
- Mcnulty's entire fake wake/retirement with Landsman's fake eulogy.
Landsman: Jimmy, I say this seriously. If I was laying there dead on some Baltimore street corner, I'd want you standing over me, catching the case. Because, brother, when you were good, you were the best we had.
Bunk: Shit, if you were lying there dead on some corner, it probably was Jimmy that done ya.
- Carcetti finds out about McNulty making up the serial killer:
Carcetti: So, um, let me just...understand this
. Um...so I've been going out there for weeks, slamming the governor for his neglect of the homeless and declaring at how we will stop at nothing to find the person responsible for preying on the homeless, (Norman, who has been trying valiantly not to laugh, loses it
) and all - hey, Norman, this is my ass here!
Norman: (pulling himself together) That's true, boss. But it does have a certain charm to it. They manufactured an issue to get paid; we manufactured an issue to get you elected governor. Everybody's getting what they need behind some make-believe.
- Even better is Norman's line at the end of the scene; "I wish I was still at the newspaper so I could write on this mess. This is too fuckin' good."
- Kima's fruitless attempts to assemble her Ikea furniture, and her furious phonecall to an amused Jimmy, who recommended the store in the first place.
Kima: I don't know how the fuck did YOU of all people do this shit, huh? HOW?!
Jimmy: You got the right allen wrench?
- The whole interchange when Freamon lands The big one on Daniels:
Receptionist: Deputy. A detective's outside for you, says it's urgent.
Freamon: (to Daniels) Sydnor and I developed a source and ran fresh surveillances on Marlo Stanfield and we believe we're about to catch his people very dirty.
Freamon: We wrapped on that Clay Davis thing and instead of shutting major crimes down, we took a couple weeks and got back up on Marlo. With the right warrants, he's about to fall.
Daniels: How the fuck...?
Freamon: There's no time, Cedric. In an hour or so, i'm gonna need (gets interrupted by phone) Yeah?
Freamon: What's up?
Sydnor: We pulled up monk. Dirty as a motherfucker. Eight keys of the raw. (after hearing a question from Freamon) No, he jersey-rolled a stop and when we tried to pull him over, he went rabbit on us. We ran him down on lafayette, by the overpass.
Freamon: You got the phone, right?
Sydnor: Yeah, man. I got it.
Freamon: Good work. (hangs up and continues with Daniels) It's down. I need teams to arrest Marlo Stanfield, Chris Partlow, and "Cheese" Wagstaff. I also need someone from our SAO to get on the horn to Baltimore County for an s-and-s warrant on a Middle River warehouse... And, oh yeah! Bunk Moreland has a warrant on Partlow for a separate homicide. He held that back so we could do this business here.
Daniels: (flabbergasted) Anything else you've neglected to tell me, detective Freamon?
Freamon: No sir. I think you're caught up.
(Daniels calls DA Rhonda Pearlman)
Pearlman: (on the phone) Hello?
Daniels: Ronnie, dear...
Pearlman: (on the phone) Hey!
Daniels: Are you sitting down?
Pearlman: (on the phone) ...Why?
- Norman assessing the threat that Rawls poses to the mayor.
Norman: I wouldn't worry about Bill Rawls. I believe he's about to have one of those road to Damascus moments.
(moments later, after Steintorf has sealed a deal)
Rawls: Back channel is the way to go.
Norman: See? The Police Commissioner done fell off his ass.
- The Uncomfortable Elevator Moment between Jimmy "serial killer" McNulty and Deputy Daniels... "to be continued"